Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Saturday 30 November 2013, at Gregory of Nareg Hall of the Bishops compound in Antelias, Reverends Housig Mardirossian and Magar Ashkarian presented their theses to His Holiness Aram I and defended them in the presence of the members of the brotherhood.
Rev. Housig analyzed the correspondence of Patriarch Sahak II during the period 1914 – 1936, from the Genocide and the exile of the Catholicosate of Cilicia from Sis (Cilicia) to its resettlement in Antelias Lebanon. In his thesis, Rev. Magar studied the Armenian Patristic writings on the “Ever Virginity of the Theotokos”. After praising their research, His Holiness granted them the degree Vartabet and recommended that they rewrite their theses for publication in a style to make it accessible to lay readers. Rev. Ghevont Pentezian and Varant Kortmezian read the Pontifical letters elevating the priests to the rank of Vartabet.
During the Holy Liturgy on Sunday at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, the celebrant Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of Tehran, blessed the new Vartabets according to tradition of the Church and raised them to the rank of Very Reverend. In his message he emphasized the new responsibilities that accompanied the title.
At the end of the Liturgy, His Holiness received the Archbishop and the new Vartabets in his office for a final blessing.